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Cocaine

Volume 475: debated on Thursday 8 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of cocaine powder users were classed as regular users (a) in each year since 1996 and (b) at the latest date for which figures are available. (201692)

The British Crime Survey (BCS) only collects information about frequent drug use among young people aged 16 to 24 years. Questions on frequency of use in the last year were first asked in the 2002-03 BCS.

The following table provides trend data between the 2002-03 and 2006-07 BCS for the proportion of cocaine powder users aged 16 to 24 years who reported to using cocaine frequently (more than once a month) in the previous year. The latest figures show that although there was an increase in the proportion of 16 to 24-year-old cocaine powder users who report being a frequent user between the 2002-03 and 2006-07 BCS (from 18.9 to 25.6) this was not statistically significant as these estimates are based on small samples and subject to large margins of error. Larger differences are required to detect statistically significant changes over time.

Frequent use in the last year among 16 to 24-year-old cocaine powder users, 2002-03 to 2006-07 BCS

Percentage

More than once a month

Unweighted base

2002-03

18.9

123

2003-04

17.2

253

2004-05

14.2

275

2005-06

22.3

321

2006-07

25.6

302

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many 16 to 24-year-olds were reported to have taken any form of cocaine in each year since 1996; (201693)

(2) what estimate she has made of the number of 16 to 59-year-olds who have used any form of cocaine in each year since 1996.

The British Crime Survey (BCS) routinely provides information about the numbers and proportions of people who have used drugs ever, in the last year and in the last month.

Tables 1 and 2 provide trends, where available, of the estimated number of 16 to 24-year-olds and 16 to 59-year-olds respectively, who have used any form of cocaine in the last year.

These estimates are based on small samples and subject to large margins of error, as indicated in the tables.

Trends in the proportion of 16 to 24-year-olds and 16 to 59 year olds who have used any form of cocaine are also included and show an increase in use among both age groups between the 1996 and 2006-07 BCS.

Table 1 Estimates of numbers and prevalence of 16 to 24-year-olds who have used any form of cocaine in the last year. 1996 to 2006-07 BCS

Best estimate

Lower estimate

Higher estimate

% of 16 to 24 year olds

Statistically significant change 1996

Unweighted base

1996

82

49

136

1.4

1,420

1998

180

125

257

3.2

*

1,246

2000

304

235

391

5.4

*

1,468

2001-02

289

247

339

5.1

*

3,995

2002-03

300

257

350

5.2

*

4,227

2003-04

318

278

364

5.4

*

5,531

2004-05

312

275

355

5.1

*

6,196

2005-06

370

327

417

5.9

*

5,892

2006-07

375

332

423

6.1

*

5,706

Notes: 1. The values are derived by adding or subtracting the confidence interval around the 2006-07 sample best estimates. Lower and higher estimates are based on 95 per cent. confidence intervals (calculated using a logit transformation where proportions were less than 0.2 or greater than 0.8). 2. The figures are calculated using population estimates provided by the Government Actuary's Department.

Table 1: Estimates of numbers and prevalence of 16 to 59-year-olds who have used any form of cocaine in the last year. 1996 to 2006/07 BCS

Table 2: Estimates of numbers and prevalence of 16 to 59-year-olds who have used any form of cocaine in the last year. 1996 to 2006-07 BCS

Best estimate

Lower estimate

Higher estimate

% of 16 to 24 year olds

Statistically significant change 1996

Unweighted base

1996

196

148

259

0.6

-

10,741

1998

382

309

470

1.3

*

9,884

2000

632

547

729

2.0

*

12,771

2001-02

620

551

696

2.0

*

19,973

2002-03

652

588

724

2.1

*

23,357

2003-04

775

705

852

2.5

*

24,197

2004-05

644

585

709

2.0

*

28,206

2005-06

776

712

846

2.4

*

29,631

2006-07

835

767

908

2.6

*

28,975

Notes: 1. The values are derived by adding or subtracting the confidence interval around the 2006-07 sample best estimates. Lower and higher estimates are based on 95 per cent. confidence intervals (calculated using a logit transformation where proportions were less than 0.2 or greater than 0.8). 2. The figures are calculated using population estimates provided by the Government Actuary's Department.